John Cena Article from Boston.com "Cena thriving as pro wrestler"
West Newbury’s Cena thriving as pro wrestler
At 6 foot 2 inches and 250 pounds, West Newbury native John Cena is a big guy. He’s always been a big guy. But when the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar takes to the squared circle, his personality and charisma show bigger than his biceps or abs. His magnetic personality has made him one of the biggest stars in the history of the industry.
“I don’t market myself as the coolest guy out there or the most edgy guy out there,’’ Cena said in an interview while promoting the new WWE All-Stars video game. “Sports and entertainment have become such a business of branding. You have a lot of people watching your every action, and I’m proud of that. I take a lot of pride in how I present myself.’’
Cena, 33, attended Pentucket Regional schools through middle school, and went to high school at the private Cushing Academy in Ashburnham. He received a degree in exercise physiology from Springfield College in 1998.
While he spends much of his time traveling the world with the WWE and resides in Florida, Cena said, he’ll never forget the small-town roots that helped shape him.
’’I don’t think there’s a more beautiful place in the world than West Newbury in the summertime,’’ Cena said. “The winters are a little bit tough, but I love the place.’’
He recalled Lawrence, Lowell, Peabody, and Danvers as destinations “to get any city element,’’ while in West Newbury “you literally had your friends acres apart — a lot of green, a lot of farmland, and as a result we were extremely active kids. I think that gave me the bug.’’
That “bug’’ is behind his career in sports entertainment, which is the name of the game in professional wrestling. WWE matches are rehearsed and scripted athletic performances, crafted to draw the audience in with rivalries, betrayals, and epic matchups.
For the past several years, he has been the most epic performer in the WWE. Cena has won its championship seven times, though he lost his chance for an eighth title at Wrestlemania 27 in April. He was defeated by “the Miz,’’ Michael Mizanin, who plays a narcissistic foil to Cena’s good-guy-with-attitude persona.
Cena and the Miz have feuded for the better part of two years, in a storyline reminiscent of vintage 1980s World Wrestling Federation matchups like Hulk Hogan battling Randy “Macho Man’’ Savage.
WWE wrestling transformed from its 1980s and early ’90s “Golden Age’’ — featuring family-friendly, PG-rated shows — to the “Attitude Era,’’ which was marked by a radical shift to a racy, edgy, and often vulgar style. Since 2001, the WWE has returned to its former mode.